Sydney Olympic promised us Charisteas, but has given us fellow Euro 2004 champion Sotirios Kyrgiakos instead.
The change has come as the club tries to get itself season ready and fill big defensive shortages.
It’s made no secret of the fact that it has been in talks with three Greek internationals – Charisteas, Krgiakos and Pantelis Kafes – and while it seems
Charisteas was the first to be signed, the club changed tactics to fill team gaps.
“To be honest, at this point in time, with the coaching staff short of defenders, we’ve got some long injuries in our defence,” Sydney Olympic technical director Arthur Diles tells Neos Kosmos.
“We had a defender, midfielder and striker in all those players and at this point in time it was probably the best time to bring out Kyrgiakos.
“That’s where the change of attention and the change of focus went to.”
In the next two weeks, the 34-year-old will be hitting the pitch at Belmore Sports Ground for two guest matches.
Kyrgiakos will start for Olympic in round two of the NSW Premier League against Blacktown Spartans on March 23.
The former Liverpool star last visited Australia in 2006 when Greece played a friendly fixture against the Socceroos at the MCG in front of a crowd of almost 100,000.
Kyrgiakos says it will be the first time playing for a club outside of Europe.
“Although it’s only as a guest player, I hope to add to the contribution made by other players such as (Alessandro) Del Piero, (William) Gallas and (Emile) Heskey and to grow football in Australia,” he said.
“Hopefully we’ll one day see football as the number one sport in Australia, as it is in most countries in the world.”
Angelos Charisteas has agreed to terms with Sydney Olympic and has gotten the OK to extend his national service leave, Diles says.
The club is using Kyrgiakos as a test to see if the club should invest in bringing the other two players down.
Diles doesn’t want a repeat of the Olympiakos Melbourne Victory match that failed to get bums on seats.
“We want to see on the back of this how it works, how big the impact is, how successful the whole thing is before we commit to another player,” he says.
“We all hope it’s successful on and off the park.”
Kyrgiakos has played for clubs Liverpool, Eintract Frankfurt, Wolfsburg, Glasgow Rangers, Sunderland, AEK Athens and Panathinaikos and will be a big drawcard for the Greek Australian community.